Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Week 3

  Sisar Beckwith
Terve Perhe, 

First things first, Dad, google translate isn't exactly your best friend. Especially with Finnish. One of the reasons I don't want to include any Finnish in my emails is because I know everyone will just go type it into google translate and it'll be totally wrong and then I'll look like an idiot who isn't learning anything at the MTC. Only not really, but kinda. 

I sent home a few pictures with a letter. I'll print out more pictures as soon as I can, and once my memory card is full I'll just send it home so you guys can put up some pictures on the blog and on facebook. 

Had a really stressful week this week. Lots of struggles to deal with and lots of change. Our teacher, Sisar Beckwith, left us this week to start a job down in Arizona, where she'll also be attending graduate school at Arizona State. We'll miss her - she was one of the best teachers that has ever lived ever, but we're happy for her to be getting such an amazing opportunity. Veli Thatcher, her replacement, is awesome. He was actually our first investigator "Pasi" and now he's another investigator, "Jukka." All of his characters have so much personality, which makes the teaching experience seem incredibly real, but at the same time, when he's pretending to be drunk (and looking really convincing) it makes it a little tough to focus. I actually started busting up in the middle of the lesson yesterday and had to take a second to collect my thoughts before we could continue. 

My Finnish is starting to improve, I just need so much more practice! I feel like I know enough grammar to start using it, but if I don't start learning the right vocab to be able to speak it regularly I'm going to lose it all. Vanhin Hoggard and I have set a goal to SYL (Speak Your Language) 5-6 hours a day. It's a lot, and sometimes we have to cheat, but it wroks, and our Finnish is benefitting from it. One pretty funny story this week: Vanhin Nicoll (his Finnish is getting so good! I'm surprised this happened to him) was teaching about the gift of the Holy Ghost. When he said God wants to give you a gift, he mispronounced the word for gift and instead said something like God wants to give you a salmon. Ouch. It's ok though, we've all done things exactly like that. 

Yesterday was an amazing day. We checked a few guys out of their rooms because they left this morning for the field. It's a weird feeling. We're so happy to see them go, but in a good way. We wish them all the best, and we know they'll do great. 

We got a thunderstorm yesterday, which ironically always seems to brighten my day.

If you all are looking for some inspiration, go find Elder Holland's talk he gave at an MTC devotional a great many moons ago called "A Mission is Forever" or something like that. It is absolutely fantastic. I don't know how to put into words how I felt when I heard that talk. Except for maybe scared out of my wits. His testimony was so powerful. I love Elder Holland and I love the way he felt about his mission. It meant everything to him, the way mine has begun to mean everything to me. This gospel is not just for me. It is not just for those who have grown up in the church and always had a testimony. It is for everyone. It has the power to bless the lives of every one of God's children and help them reach their full potential. I love this work, I love this gospel, and I love my Savior. 

There is a power in reading the Book of Mormon. It's a power I feel even when I read it in Finnish and only understand the most vital words. It is true. And I know it. 

Time's up. I love you all.

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